The lights, the colourful clothes and the delicious treats — Deepavali 2022 is right around the corner and I can’t wait to celebrate the festival of lights with my family! I’m Shona, a Singaporean Indian, and the Deepavali celebrations in Singapore are a real treat for the Hindu community where we visit the bazaars in Little India, cook up some chicken, fish and mutton biryani (I’ll have all 3, thank you) and spend time with our loved ones. Deepavali is full of culture and traditions and it is the most significant Hindu festival but it’s also enjoyed by non-Hindu communities all over the world.
Deepavali, or the festival of lights, is associated with the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Deepavali celebrates the victory of good over evil and light over darkness, hence the lights! As we encourage more light into our lives, we invite a new beginning, clarity and wealth and we welcome the goddess Lakshmi into our homes. Leading up to the celebrations, we prepare for the big day with traditions that all have significance behind them. I’d love to share my culture and how you can celebrate Deepavali in Singapore with a WYLD twist.
Cook up some festive treats in the kitchen
Indian sweets and treats aren’t just delicious, they are also used as a religious offering to Hindu Gods in home altars and temples. When visiting friends and family, we also bring over some sweets to share as a small gesture. While you can find Diwali sweets in Singapore along the streets of Little India, it’s always fun to come together as a family and get cooking in the kitchen.
Some popular traditional Indian treats are laddoo, gulab jamun, murukku, vada and payasam. My personal favourite is payasam (specifically semiya payasam) as I have fond memories of my grandma making it for me as a kid. The basics of semiya payasam include vermicelli noodles, milk, sugar, raisins and nuts, making it an absolutely delicious dessert.
If you’d like to try your hand at cooking some Indian dishes, semiya payasam is an easy one to get started. Or if you’re a pro chef, try out some yummy mutton biryani. These quirky oven mitts, dish towels and napkin sets are the perfect companions for your cook-out this Deepavali 2022.
PS: If you’re wondering what’s the difference between Diwali and Deepavali, it’s the same celebration but North Indians refer to the former while South Indians use the latter.
Get blingy with gold jewellery
Indians love a good pair of gold earrings and bangles but not just because they’re blingy and look amazing. In Indian culture, gold is considered an auspicious sign of power, wealth and prosperity. As a symbol of Lakshmi, many try to buy new gold jewellery at Tekka before the Deepavali celebration in Singapore to attract all that good luck and positivity. But hey, not all of us are loaded for that pure gold life, so here are some WYLD alternatives that I personally love.
Redecorate your home to invite good energy
In the days leading up to Deepavali, my family gets down to serious business with a full clean-up of the home. I’m not talking just sweeping and mopping, it’s the whole shebang. Many Indian families declutter their homes, paint their walls with new shades and redecorate their living rooms just for goddess Lakshmi. On Deepavali day, we want Lakshmi to enter our homes to boost prosperity and she loves a good-looking home.
Another way we add life to our homes is to create kolams on the floor, which are colourful ornament patterns using dry rice flour or simple chalk. This represents the liveliness of the household to invite Lakshmi in and it doesn’t hurt to make your crib look good for guests. Here are some decor pieces to add to your home to give it a spruce up this Deepavali.
Enjoy the festival of lights by lighting up your own candles
You can’t call Deepavali the festival of lights without lighting up some candles yourself! Traditionally, the lighted lamps are called diyas and they are oil lamps made from clay or mud with a cotton wick and ghee to keep the fire burning. They are used in religious rituals and festivals, not just by Hindus but also by Sikhs and Buddhists.
The warm, bright glow from these candles is considered auspicious and helps to dispel darkness, greed and any other vices from your life and encourage light and brightness instead. Fun fact, Deepavali always occurs on a new moon, the darkest day of the lunar month when there’s total darkness in the sky so lighting lamps is symbolic in the midst of the dark new moon sky. While we don’t have traditional oil lamps, here are some of our favourite candles that you can light this Deepavali to encourage peace and positivity in your life.
Shop for a new fit
We can’t forget the fabulousities of Deepavali with the silk sarees, colourful lenghas and trendy Punjabi suits. Buying new Deepavali clothes is basically mandatory and most of us head down to Tekka or the Deepavali Singapore bazaar to find a new suit. Buying new clothes for the festival signifies a fresh start and positivity. Some just stick to one new suit, but others may splurge a little for a whole new traditional wardrobe.
We may not have any traditional wear at The WYLD Shop, but our Indii Breeze Sundar collection pays homage to an ancient Indian art with hand-blocked prints made in India. Although the hand-block technique was borrowed from China, Indian artisans turned it into a culturally distinct art form. The technique requires stamping a carved wooden block onto the fabric with dye. Carving the designs is the most challenging step and we’re lucky to have such intricate patterns on the Indii Breeze dresses and skirts. Take a look at the full Indii Breeze Sundar collection for your new set of Deepavali clothes and appreciate the beautiful art form.
Wishing everyone who celebrates, a Happy Deepavali! Stay WYLD!
- xx Shona